Author: saundralparker

Best Blending Tool and Cardstock for Blending, 2019

I have made a video using blending tools, but I wanted to use the newest tools on the market in this video.  Some of these products are older, and some have come to my attention this year, so I’m combining both..

Inks Used:

Stampin’ Up Tempting Turquoise replaced with Coastal Cabana:
Wendy Vecchi Blending Inks: Conflower blue:
Distress Ink: Broken China
Distress Oxide Ink: Wilted Violet link:

Stencil Revolution Stencil: Lavender

Blending Tools Used:

Ranger Mini Blending Tool:

Black Aliexpress Brushes:

Shaving Brush:

1″ chip brushes: Harbor Freight Liquidators:

Copper or Gold Colored Aliexpress Brush link:

Cardstocks used:
Neenah Solar White Classic Crest 80lb. link:

Recollections Heavyweight cream cardstock 110 lb:

Georgia Pacific 110lb cardstock

Results per tool used:

Ranger Mini Blending Tool:
I found it left lines from the edges on all of the card stocks, and only really liked using it on the stencil and it works well with Distress Oxide inks
]Aliexpress Black brush —I had great results with all papers, but my big concern is the handle and how flimsy it is. I was afraid I would break it, so had to hold the brush by the head to ink it.

Shaving Brush–Gives a very scratchy look, and leaves a blurred image on the edges of the stencil.

1″ chip brush–Also gives a scratchy look, but looks like it lays down more ink than the shaving brush. Also blurs the edges of the stencil..

Copper/Gold Brush from Aliexpress—My favorite..the handle is much more sturdy than the black handled brush…I like the blending it does more than the other tools, and the stencil edges are very sharp. I recommend this tool above the others, and found it did the best job of being consistent on all papers, but I found they all blended best on the Georgia Pacific cardstock.

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My Version of a Pocket Card with a Spirelli Wreath

I wanted to make a pocket card for one of my viewers, and thought I’d use a spirelli on the front, but I couldn’t get the string to stay in the grooves on the sides of the heart, so decided it needs to be a circle. The first pocket card I made, I couldn’t put back together, so went with plan B, a whole new card.
I started by using a piece of red cardstock that was 8 1/2″ x 11″ and put it in the score board on the 11″ length and scored at 1″ and 5 1/2″ then turned it to the 8 1/2″ length and scored at 2 1/8″ and 6 3/8″ but only down to the 1″ score mark.
Using the paper trimmer, put the cardstock on the 8 1/2″ length, with the one inch score at the top of the page, and cut it at 6 1/4″ all the way up to the 1″ score, then flip your paper over and put the paper at the 6 1/4″ mark and trim again up to the 1″ line. Then turn the paper so the 1″ line is at the bottom in your cut line and cut up to the first cut  and then move your tool up to the next cut, and cut to the top…You should end up with a T shape. You’ll also need to cut the bottom of the T another 1/2″ so you don’t have a lot of paper to tuck under your “pocket.”  In the end, your paper should now be 10 1/2″ tall.
Take the T and fold the sides in and put a little wet glue on the edges so it’s now closed, but not glued down, so you can tuck paper under it.  To open and close your card, you’ll simply tuck the bottom part up and under the part you just glued together.
I used a piece of white cardstock that was 4 5/8″ wide x 6 3/8″ tall and I used a big heart stamp from A Jillian Vance Designs. That heart stamp is now discontinued, sorry, but here’s a link to her site.
I inked the background stamp with two Distress Oxide inks, Worn Lipstick and Picked Raspberry and laid my white cardstock on the stamp and rubbed over it with my hand, holding it so it didn’t move around…I put a piece of scrap paper over it so I wouldn’t get ink all over my hands.
To make a spirelli, take either two scallop circle dies that are similar in size or two scallop circle punches,center them so the center is even all the way around, then cut out what looks like a scalloped wreath. I used glitter red paper as it was thicker than normal cardstock. I started my spirelli by taping down the end of the twine on the back of the wreath. (I bought my twine from Hallmark after Christmas, and it’s really thick twine.) You will choose a starting spot and put your twine on the outside wrapping the twine from underneath, so that you are always on the paper and not inside the wreath. I think I made my loops four indentations long, then move down one indentation from the original starting spot and then put that into one indentation below our first, and you’ll keep continuing around your circle moving one indentation below your top and one indentation below your bottom loops and eventually, you’ll have two pieces of twine in each indentation, and that’s when you are done. If you have trouble keeping your twine in the indentations, you can put some tape on the back to hold it down, and/or snip your indentations so they are a little bit deeper…I would only do that as a last resort, if your twine is super thick. Once you are done, trim off the ends and tape them so they stay in place.
I wanted to decorate the spirelli, so took the same inks I used before and colored some scrap paper and dried it, then used a small Recollections heart punch to cut out some hearts. I used a stylus on a piece of fun foam and rubbed the back of the hearts so they because 3-d. I used tweezers and hot glue to adhere them to the wreath. Before I did that, I taped the back of my white cardstock and attached it to the card base.
I took a piece of red cardstock that was 1″ high by 4 3/8″ long and adhered it with tape runner over the top flap of my card so I could add ribbon to it and you wouldn’t be able to see the spot where I’d glued it together. I added pink ribbon and more of my twine plus a red die cut heart that I’d made look 3’d with the stylus technique.
I hot glued the spirelli to the front of the card. I have a die that cuts Happy Valentine’s Day and cut out the red glitter card stock and adhered it to the inside of the card and stamped the back with my Made by Sandy Parker stamp.


Comparison of Silver Embossing Powders & Cardstocks

I have wanted to see if there are better silver embossing powders and if they work differently on different card stock.
I chose the four most common embossing powders and card stock that is common and at a variety of prices.

I used:
Wow! Super Fine Embossing Powder 1/2 oz. $3.49 at–that’s where I bought mine, but they no longer sell silver in this size, so here’s a link for a selection of metallic embossing powders from Amazon.
Stampin’ Up! Emboss Powder 1/2 oz. $5.00 If you don’t have a Stampin’ Up representative to make your order, Brian King has been really kind to me and is a terrific representative, and you can contact him by email at
Ranger Super Fine Embossing Powder .56 oz. $4.99 at
Brutus Monroe Ultra fine Embossing powder Sterling 1 oz. $5.99 link:

The fine and super fine powders are better used on sentiments and lined images instead of on a filled in image like the circle we’ll be using.

To keep your paper clean and ensure your powder doesn’t stick where you don’t want it, you can make your own pouch of corn starch or baby powder by using a knee high, filling about 2 tbsp. of either powder or corn starch and knot it close to the filling, then cut off the excess knee high, or buy a pouch or tool online…Here are a couple of options. Pick one that is a pouch or on the second line, the bottle with a brush on top.

Stamps used:
Happy Birthday (no longer available) here’s their current happy birthday peg stamp.
Perfect Layering Circles You can buy a single circle or the set and I am giving you all of the options..I used the second largest circle in this video.

Card stocks used:
Cream Recollections Heavyweight from Michaels: Link:
Neenah Solar White 80 lb. I apologize that I said it was 90 lb in the video, as I threw away my packaging…. link: Amazon
Georgia Pacific 110 lb cardstock from Walmart link:

I stamped with Versamark ink link:

The only embossing powder I used that was NOT super fine was the Stampin’ Up, and I did not notice any different in results between it and the other powders when inking once.

All of the powders did a great job on the sentiment and all did not do well on the full circle when inked and heat set once.

When I inked and heat set twice, the results were as follows:
Stampin’ Up and Brutus Monroe both worked best on Neenah
Ranger worked best on Georgia Pacific
Wow worked best on Recollections Heayweight



I did one of those jobs today, that we all dread…I clean out my freezer.  It’s a side-by-side frig and freezer, so it’s not like the old days when you had a chest freezer, and either had to basically crawl into it, or the stand up kind that you never find anything that drifted to the back.  We did find some things we’d lost along the way, includng a Cool Whip from 2015 (gross!) and some mystery meat…I feel terrible when I see the things we’ve wasted, and try hard not to do so, but I needed a better system.  So today, I came up with one…Will it work?  I don’t know, but I’m hoping so.  I made each shelf a sticker and made sure that the only things on the shelf were what I wrote on the sticker.  It’s only a matter of time until we figure out that we don’t have enough fruit for that shelf, and way too much ice cream, or meat, and need to change things up, but for now, it really looks good.

I’m always happy when I’ve organized an area that’s been bugging me….My next step will be our hall closet that seems to be a catch-all for everything from Q-tips to cleaning supplies.  Anyone want to volunteer to help?  haha


On Friday, I went to a bunch of garage sales with my girlfriend and found some clear embossing powder and a House Mouse stamp that I didn’t have.  I almost never find stamps or stamping tools, so it was a good day.  After, we went to lunch with a good friend and on our way home, found sweet corn at a roadside stand, and bought some to take home for dinner.  There’s nothing better than fresh corn from Pennsylvania.  Because we get so much rain, our corn is crisp and different from any I’ve had anywhere else in the country (and I’ve tried it as often as possible when we travel.)  It made for the perfect date night supper, and then on to movie night.  We normally rent movies, but decided to watch something on Amazon Prime or one of the other channels on HULU (I’m not even sure that’s the correct name for it)….I have to say, I rarely see a movie that’s worth watching or that’s from the last few years, unless it’s so bad you can’t sit through it, and that was the case for date night…We started to watch three different movies, and they were all so bad, we couldn’t continue, so decided to turn in early instead of wasting more time on bad movies.

Saturday started with a friend who runs a carpet cleaning business, bringing his daughter and her sister to do crafts with me while he cleaned our carpets.  I let the girls decide what they wanted to try, and they wanted to make a blanket by tying squares together.  Let’s just say it wasn’t a craft that held their attention long term, so in the end, they both had their own homemade dog toys and a pillow that they’d made when they left.  I think they had fun with me, but I can never tell, because I don’t think I’m particularly interesting to younger kids.  The girls were happy with their pillows though, and that’s all that matters to me.

Once the girls left, Rich and I went to one of our college friend’s house, where we met up with four other couples, all of who went to school with us.  It’s weird to realize over forty years has passed since we met, and it seems like we never lost touch, as we can pick up where we left off without any effort.  We got home late, and Honey was super anxious, so I went to bed and Rich stayed up to watch television, as that normally will calm her.

This morning, I finally worked on a video, and did an iris paper folding technique that one of my viewers showed me.  She sent me templates and card bases with envelopes.  I’m not sure where she got them, but will try to find that out before putting the video up.  The technique is really simple, and can be done with paper scraps and old envelopes.  I had a great time trying the technique and will definitely be doing more of it.  I’m going to do a second video, showing how to make an image without a template, since I think a lot of people will try it using dies they already have on hand…I think you need a die that is a simple outline and no paper left in the middle for this technique to work well, so I’ll look through mine to see which ones I have that will work with this.  The other thing you can do is download free printables online, and then cut the image out of the center of the front of a card base.

After I finished paper folding, I got a call from one of my college friends (the ones we met last night all played football with Rich, but graduated with me).. She invited me to have lunch and we met at the Cracker Barrel, as she lives in Pittsburgh, and was driving through the area on her way home….I love seeing her, and we meet several times a year, and I enjoy every minute I have with her.  She’s funny and interesting, and makes me remember being eighteen again..She was in my wedding, and I’m grateful that we still can make time to see each other.


I’ve been working on a lunch box that I bought at a thrift store for 49 cents.  It had a weird Japanese inspired design on it, and I wanted to repurpose it to hold my nail polishes.  It was white with a red and black pattern, so I spray painted it with a deep beige color…of course I’m not very skilled at using spray paint, and ended up with a bunch of paint runs that didn’t look great.  I decided I’d cover the lunch box with a napkin, or a couple of napkin patterns.  The top of the box has a rose pattern, and I’m not sure what I’ll do with the sides and the bottom, as they aren’t looking really good right now, with the paint runs so obvious.  Tomorrow I’m going to look at the rest of my napkin collection and see if I can find some that are simple but that will match the rose pattern (the background color)…I think the lunch box will look a lot better if I can find two napkin patterns that coordinate with each other….so far, I haven’t been very lucky finding them.

I had ordered five dresses from an online store called for my nephew’s wedding…Their prices are really low, and since I’ll only be wearing the dress once, I didn’t want to spend a ton of money on it…They had all arrived in the last couple of days, so I decided to try them on today.  I really liked one of them and the rest I’ll be returning….but it’s a great relief to find one I like…

It started raining about 1PM and by 3PM, Honey, Bella and I were in the basement, riding out the thunderstorm watching old movies.  OK, not old, but not new…We, the dogs and I, watched Notting Hill…Nothing like a Julia Roberts movie to get us through a thunderstorm.  I think the weather front has stalled over us, as my arthritis doesn’t want me to do anything but sleep and watch television.  I’m glad I have the luxury to be able to do both, as I don’t think I’m equipped for much more.

Spellbinders Grand Cabinet 3D Wedding Card w/ Foamiran Plumeria

I started by making plumeria flowers from foamiran I bought from Aliexpress (Link: ) I bought white as I felt it would be the most versatile.
I cut a teardrop shape from foamiran, and then used it as a template, and laid the first teardrop on the foamiran and cut around it. I did this so I’d have five, and cut enough to make three flowers (15 total.)
I used Distress Inks, in Squeezed Lemonade and Mustard Seed link: and applied the inks with a brush I bought from Aliexpress (Link for black brush set and I chose the second set from the top left: ) I don’t love these are the necks seem super bendy and I think they’ll break easily. I love the gold colored ones link: as the necks are sturdy and are easier to ink…I did a video comparing these and you’ll see that video next.
After coloring the very tips of the teardrops with both inks, I used a ball stylus (link: ) with a sponge you’d buy at a hardware store used for grout. ( link: ) Mine is only one-quarter of one of these sponges.
I also used a hair straightener (link: ) this one is safe, from Walmart, unlike mine) to heat the rounded end of the petals so they bend backward from the middle of the teardrop to the end. (You can use an iron, or your heat gun, but be careful with the heat gun as it’s easy to burn yourself.) Once your petals are all bent, you can use the stylus in the centers to make the petals look more realistic. I also wrapped the petals around a skewer and using my heat gun, warmed the petal to roll them. I hot glued the very tip and one side about 1/4 of the way up the side, and laid the next petal to it...Once all five petals are attached together, put hot glue on the side of one petal and pull the others together and pinch the bottom to make the flower round.
Grand Cabinet and wedding insert link:
You’ll need to cut out a front, and back, and four insert pieces from the Grand Cabinet die. The back needs to have the center section left in. If you buy the separate wedding set, I cut it out a couple of times, and used the words and bride/groom separately. You’ll want to cut the little side tabs off of the front and back pieces as you don’t need them.
I cut my front out of very thin glitter paper, so had to add a second layer to it so it would be sturdy. Since the front was glittery, I used silver Gelato on the piece behind it so if you could see it, you’d see silver..I adhered these two pieces with wet glue and let them dry. My back panel and side panels were made out of foil paper and I took the the side panels and put tear tape on the back of the foil paper on both ends (on the edges beside the score lines) You’ll take the tear tape backer off of one side and attach it to the back of the back foil piece (making sure the slots are closer to the bottom than the top when you adhere them) You’ll lay the bottom edge of the side piece so it lines up with the bottom of the back piece and lay the score line of the side piece on the very edge of the back and adhere them. Then take each of your four center pieces and insert one side of the slots into the side panel and pull down so the slots stay in place. I adhered the other side panel and inserted each of the layer tabs into that side. Then bend the front flaps of the side panel so you can glue the front panel to it. I pushed the card flat and put tear tape on the back of the ends of the front panel and adhered the front panel to the side pieces by bending the score lines of the side panels and laying the front panel to both sides.
I glued the leftover glitter center piece into the back and glued the “Happily ever after” piece inside to the back panel, and glued the bride and groom on a closer layer and the plumeria around the sides. The plumeria were too large so I just trimmed down the rounded ends to make them as small as I needed. I would recommend you glue some of these pieces inside before putting the card together, as the card isn’t very large and once your hands are inside, there was no way the viewer could see what I was doing.